Gigabyte M1600A Multimedia DVD-ROM Review
It looks like a car
stereo and performs some of the same functions, but is far from that. The
M1600A from Gigabyte is both DVD player and audio console combined, and what's more, it
will run with the rest of the PC turned off. Dial in your favourite
FM radio station while slugging it through a long word document, or after a hard day
when the last thing you want to do hear is noisy cooling fans. The M1600A plays
CD's and MP3 CD's, with or without the computer powered up, and features FM radio
presets and a very cool electoluminescent/VFD sound level display up
Because the M1600A fits into
a standard 5.25" drive bay and requires no case modifications of any type, it
is not much more complicated to install than a regular CDROM. The DVD/CDROM
lies hidden behind the front control panel, and with the push of a button that
easily folds down so that disc's can be changed.
A control card
and AC/adaptor are part of the reason why the M1600A can operate autonomous from the
rest of the PC. The control card provides the power backup, FM radio
antenna connection, and in/out audio jacks for the M1600A. Jumper cables rout the audio out
to an adjacent sound card, making the M1600A refreshingly good at
coexisting with current sound cards components.
||Gigabyte M1600A Multimedia DVD-ROM
AC adaptor, audio cables, antenna, power adaptor, control
card, data cable., instructions.
drive sits behind the front control panel which offers a visually appealing display that
seems to hover behind the dark plastic face.
kept of the minimum, just two dials which when pushed in scroll through the menus,
and when turned, control individual settings. A small remote control takes
care of the remaining stereo controls like pause/play, FM tuning and the
audio-style presets via an infrared link.
this October at Compute 2003, the Gigabyte M1600A is so new that we don't have
any pricing information on it, but after just one look at this amazing little
device it will be hard to resist. Small form factor PC's are extremely popular
right now, and the M1600A goes a long way towards making a true home theatre PC a
reality - both and without the actual PC powered up.